A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the invite-only #FitBlogNYC at the Mercedes Club in Manhattan. The event was put on by FITNESS Magazine, the only magazine I religiously devour in a bath when it arrives on my doorstep every month. I was lucky to have been able to sit in on conversations from sone of today’s great trainers, doctors and Chefs! I also had the opportunity to demo beverages, health food and apparel, yet I was under no obligation to write anything. I am sharing this post as hearing Rocco Dispirito speak was entertaining and engaging and in fact I will share more posts about the event soon!
Rocco Dispirito has what my high school religion teacher called a “proselytizing spirit” – meaning he can convert you into doing just about anything, kinda like a cult leader. This is a Chef that took his craft back home to Italy so that he could cook with the “mamas” and understand old Italian traditions as well as adapt them to a healthy lifestyle. His conversation with FITNESS Editor Pam O’Brien was frank and to the point with some new-to-me food ideas that I can’t wait to put into practice. One of the golden nuggets he shared was this:
If you are eating alone, change that! Enjoy the company of others while you eat. You will naturally eat less and enjoy your food.
He talked about why 67% of the American population is overweight while only 3% of the Italian population is. Words like enjoying life, eating with family and friends, and seasonal foods all came up. I liked that the foods he described were flavorful and varied, not bland and boring. In fact, he suggested to a vegetarian that she leave the “crunchy foods” behind and try out Indian food for some really yummy vegetarian meals.
Here are the top tips I jotted down straight from the mouth of Rocco:
- Half a cup of cottage cheese is loaded with 16g of protein – eat it up!
- Non-fat Greek yogurt is another fave for protein
- Flavor detonator must-haves in your kitchen pantry include: stock in a box, spices such as basil, aged balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard
- For those in need of pasta, he suggested looking into miraclenoodle.com a miracle noodle made of Japanese yam
- Other pasta suggestions included brown rice, quinoa and tinkyada rice pasta
- He is also an advocate for cheese! But only the expensive parmesan which he suggested sprinkling over spaghetti squash
- Another pasta idea is the super easy to make chicken puree pasta he recently demoed on Rachael Ray. I’m keen to look this one up and give it a whirl, I’ll update if I do!
- His favorite new sweetener is monkfruit
All I can say is that after listening to his mesmerizing Italian accent and informed take on how to cook, eat and enjoy it, I am looking forward to getting my hands on his latest book, Now Eat This!
What say you! Do you like hosting dinner parties?
disclosure: unfortunately I did not receive Rocco’s ccokbook , that was not part of the deal :(, but I did get to be in his presence, take part in the Q&A and share in his wisdom. Though I did receive conference gifts from the sponsors, all opinions are 100% my own.